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From the Magazine

The Luftwaffe’s Femmes Fatales

The Luftwaffe’s Femmes Fatales

Hitler and his Luftwaffe don’t have the kind of image that would brighten a feminist’s day. Even so, if today’s public is asked to name German test pilots, the only two names likely to be uttered would be Hanna Reitsch and Melitta Schiller/von Stauffenberg. From debugging piloted buzz bombs and making heroic rescue flights to […]
Bomber Crew: A Day in Their Lives

Bomber Crew: A Day in Their Lives

B-17 crewmen remember the German missions Aboard each of the thousands of B-17 Flying Fortresses that left the soil of England bound for targets in Europe were 10 young men. Outwardly, they were no different from any late-teen or early-twenties boy you’d meet anywhere in America. Same faces, same names, same youthful vigor and sense […]

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Superfortress Atomic Bombs: Little Boy & Fat Man

Superfortress Atomic Bombs: Little Boy & Fat Man

Known as Little Boy and Fat Man, the atomic bombs that the Superfortresses dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were game changers Development of nuclear weapons began in early 1943, following years of scientific and engineering research. The Manhattan Project managers identified two methods of firing a nuclear weapon, and given the prospects for ending the […]
Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 “Gustav”

Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 “Gustav”

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 series went through innumerable major and minor design changes throughout its career. However, three were most significant—the E or “Emil,” the F or “Friedrich,” and the G or “Gustav.” The Emil was best known as the Battle of Britain 109, readily distinguished from earlier models by its more streamlined nose, yet […]

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Aviation Photographer Phil High’s Night Vision

Aviation Photographer Phil High’s Night Vision

Phil High’s Aviation Photography taken at night results in aircraft photos of unexpected beauty and drama. As a longtime volunteer photographer for the Experimental Aircraft Association at their annual orgy-of-all-things-aerial in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Phil High will regularly be seen lying on the ground, getting dramatic angles of an airplane. Or homing-in on the details that […]
Pearl Harbor: the Sleeping Giant Awakens

Pearl Harbor: the Sleeping Giant Awakens

War was coming to the ocean called “Pacific.” Imperial Japan, in need of oil to feed its growing ambition, squirmed under the stricture of an American embargo (implemented because of Japan’s aggression toward China). Japan would not be denied its self-proclaimed destiny, so Tokyo’s warlords cast covetous eyes southward to the petroleum-rich Dutch East Indies, […]

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Aviation Insider: F-35 Lightning II

Aviation Insider: F-35 Lightning II

Is it striking out? By Robert F. Dorr When the 100th F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter was delivered on December 13, it was a “big deal for the Air Force,” said chief of staff Gen. Mark Welsh. Welsh is the most visible face and the strongest voice supporting the F-35. A respected fighter pilot, […]
Flight Journal’s Budd Davisson recalls – the First Ride

Flight Journal’s Budd Davisson recalls – the First Ride

Everyone has to start somewhere The trainer theme of this issue reverberates with me personally, so I hope you won’t mind if I climb out from behind my editor’s desk and talk like the pilot I am and always have been. When looking at some of the trainer images, I couldn’t help but reflect on […]

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A Tribute to our Veterans: Do It Now

A Tribute to our Veterans: Do It Now

Living history has a shelf life, and the expiration date cannot be extended. I’ve been interviewing WW II veterans since the early 1970s when I got serious about writing history, and it’s been a bittersweet experience. Anyone who’s made a career documenting aviation (or anything else) will tell you the same thing: you make older […]
World War II Trainers – The Ace Makers

World War II Trainers – The Ace Makers

It was a global war foughton an industrial scale unlike anything before or since. Conservatively, it consumed at least 55 million lives while overturning the way humans regarded their nations, their worlds, and themselves. It also spurred the greatest technological revolution of all time: in five years, going from 250mph biplane fighters in some nations to 550mph jets and ocean-spanning bombers that delivered atomic weapons. Supporting the vast American effort were huge training establishments for the U.S. Army Air Force (AAF) and the U.S. Navy (USN). This is their story.
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